Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Refuge Staff ?Acts Up? With ANHA
Alaska Region, February 10, 2005
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One by one, refuge visitor service employees photographed, tracked, stalked, fished, and led nature walks in front of the dozens of federal, state, and Alaska Natural History Association (ANHA) staff participating in the recent ANHA workshop in Anchorage. Their point was to ?act out? the wildlife dependent recreational opportunities that exist at refuges. The refuge staff were intentionally sparking a discussion on partnership opportunities to better serve the visitor to Alaska's public wild lands. The Alaska Natural History Association (ANHA), a non-profit association, operates bookstores in refuges, parks, and forests to provide interpretive and educational materials to the visiting public. All net sales revenues go to fund interpretive and education programs on public lands.

In addition, these refuge employees have been ?acting up? in another way at their visitor centers and offices. This year, 7 out of the 8 national wildlife refuge/ANHA bookstores produced the greatest net to gross sales revenues in over a decade, more than doubling in most cases. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service cooperating association coordinator Kevin Painter noted this milestone, ?In my 15 years of working with such cooperating associations, I have never seen this number of outlets make such improvements in just one year, it's amazing?. The ?acting up? can be contributed to hard working refuge staffs that have focused on better bookstore practices and the outstanding network of support that is provided by ANHA. Painter went on to point out ?These annual ANHA workshops are an investment in employees and the program. An investment that is paying off today to the refuge visitor in the form of more natural and cultural education and interpretation?.

Contact Info: Kristen Gilbert, 907-786-3391, Kristen_Gilbert@fws.gov
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